Updated: 06/01/2014 11:24 PM
Created: 06/01/2014 7:59 PM WHEC.com
Firefighters from three different counties responded to a massive fire at an apartment complex and deli in Genesee County on Sunday afternoon.
The blaze happened on Route 63 in Pavilion at a combined apartment building and deli. Crews from 14 different departments across three counties battled the massive flames all throughout Sunday afternoon and into the night. Residents say the building has been a staple in the community since the 1800’s.
“It’s a terrible loss to the community,” said Jim Rudgers, a resident.
Terra Laurie and Mark Fiscus were displaced after the fire. They lived upstairs.
“Pictures are gone. Memories are gone, and we have to restart our lives,” said Laurie.
Fire officials say an electrical short in the attic caused the fire. It took five hours for crews to get it under control. Everyone made it out safe, but the extreme heat and smoke did cause problems.
“There has been three firefighters that went to the hospital for heat exhaustion,” said Sean Vogt, first assistant chief of the Pavilion Fire Department.
Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to the buildings on either side, but they say the damage was so bad the building had to be demolished. For many, that was hard to swallow.
“As far back as I can remember it has been here. It has been a hangout place for the high schoolers for midterms and everything else,” said Vogt.
Fire officials say they will work into the night to make sure the fire doesn’t spark up again.